KIMURA-SENSEI was refurbished and rechristened by the students of Mrs. Lent’s limited, in-person enrichment group at Camp Kiwanilong in Warrenton, Oregon. These Warrenton Grade School students braved the winter storms with CRMM Miniboat Program staff each Thursday afternoon to get this masterpiece shipshape and sea ready. In 2017, CRMM Miniboat Program Hull #001 was originally named R/V COMCOMLY and sailed in the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean conducting important sea testing for our program. However, after Ms. Lent’s group of boys wanted their own project the transformation began.
S/V KIMURA-SENSEI was named in honor of the retiring Mr. Kimura, the former principal of Nejo Junior High School in Hachinohe. Mr. Kimura was instrumental in the early success of the CRMM Miniboat Program in Japan and has become a close friend to Nate Sandel, the Education Director at the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Mrs. Lent’s students at Warrenton Grade School hope the two boats they named after these “brothers from a different country” cross paths as they are transiting the Pacific from different sides.
The Columbia River Maritime Museum Miniboat Program provides a global, multidisciplinary STEAM learning experience for 5th- to 7th-grade classes in the Pacific Northwest and Japan by empowering them to cooperatively design, build, launch, and track seaworthy GPS-equipped boats on a journey across the Pacific Ocean. The program was developed in partnership with the Consular Office of Japan in Portland and Educational Passages and is supported by Pacific Power, Northwest Stem Hub, West Marine BlueFuture Fund®, the U.S. Coast Guard, and many others.
Since the program’s start in 2017, 1,513 students on both sides of the Pacific Ocean have been involved in the launch of 31 miniboats, traveling a total of 70,000 nautical miles (and climbing). These boats are tracked daily and students are still building on the skills they honed to launch them.